Thursday, 14 July 2016

Debunking The Calorie Myth – Why “Calories in, Calories Out” is Wrong

Here are mainstream nutrition myths that have been debunked by scientific research.

What a Calorie is

I want to make sure that we understand each other, so let me quickly define what a “calorie” means.
calorie is a measure of energy:
“calorie is the amount of energy required to increase the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree Celsius.”
The official measure of energy is Joule. 1 calorie equals 4.184 joules.
What we usually refer to as “calories” is actually kilocalories (kcal).
One kilocalorie, or one dietary Calorie (with a capital “C”) is the energy required to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree celsius.
But what does “energy” mean?
Energy is the capacity of a system to do work.”
The human body requires energy to move, breathe, think, contract the heart, maintain electrical gradients over cell membranes, etc.
On a molecular level, the body functions with an enormously complex set of chemical reactions. These chemical reactions require energy, which is where calories step in.
Bottom Line: A dietary Calorie is the amount of energy required to heat 1 kilogram of water by 1 degree Celsius. The body uses energy (calories) to drive chemical reactions.

What Does Calories in, Calories Out (CICO) Entail?

According to the “calories in, calories out” (CICO) way of thinking, obesity is simply a matter of eating too many calories.
Proponents of this often say that the types of foods you eat aren’t very important, that the caloric contribution of foods is the key.
They say that the only way to lose weight is to eat less, move more and that it is any individual’s responsibility to keep calories balanced.
A pound of fat is 3500 calories (a kilogram is 7700). If you eat 500 calories less than you burn every day, then after a week (7 * 500 = 3500) you will have lost a pound of fat.
From this comes “a calorie is a calorie” the idea that all calories are created equal, no matter what foods they come from.
Even though it is true that obesity is caused by excess calories and weight loss caused by a calorie deficit, this is still such a drastic oversimplification that it is downright wrong.

Different Foods Affect Our Hormones in Different Ways

In my opinion, one of the biggest fallacies in nutrition is to think that all calories are created equal.
Different macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) go through different metabolic pathways.
Let me show you this with two examples – fructose and protein.
Fructose, when it enters the liver from the digestive tract, can be turned into glucose and stored as glycogen.
But if the liver is full of glycogen, it can be turned into fat which is then shipped out or lodges in the liver.
Consumed in excess, it can cause insulin resistance, which raises insulin levels all over the body. Insulin drives fat gain (23).
Fructose also doesn’t get registered in the same way as glucose and doesn’t impact satiety in the same way. Fructose doesn’t lower the hunger hormone ghrelin 

Maybe We’ve Got Things Backwards

Most people believe that the increased calorie intake is driving the weight gain.
But what if we’ve got things backwards and the fat gain drives the increased calorie intake?
When a teenage boy grows rapidly in height, he eats more calories than he expends. Instead of turning into fat, the calories are used to build muscle, bones, skin and organs.
It is not the increased calorie intake that is driving the growth, but hormones, growth factors and physiological processes that are causing the growth and the growth drives the increased calorie intake. That makes sense, right?
What if obesity is similar? What if calories are a consequences of the weight gain, not a cause?
In the same way that a teenage boy’s muscles and bones grow because of hormones, an obese person’s fat mass may be growing because of hormones.
One example of this is drugs like some antidepressants and birth control pills, which often have weight gain as a side effect.
There are no calories in these pills, but they alter the physiology of the body (brain and hormones) to cause weight gain. In this case, the increased calorie intake is secondary to the change in hormones.
Bottom Line: It is possible that we are confusing cause and effect. Perhaps it’s not the increased calorie intake that drives the fat gain, but the fat gain that drives the increased calorie intake.

Eating Behavior is Largely Subconscious

Humans aren’t robots.
We don’t walk around and make decisions about our behavior based on mathematical calculations. It is against our nature.
We make decisions based on our emotions, how we feel and what we want to do. The “logical” part of our brain often doesn’t have much control over the part of our brain that is regulated by emotions.
Some might call this weakness, I call it human nature. Changing behavior based on logical, rational decisions can often be impossible.
Ever made a decision not to drink coffee after 2pm? Always do homework right after school? Only sleep in on Sundays?
Making these kinds of changes in your life is often very difficult and the same applies to eating behavior like making the decision to eat 500 calories below your maintenance every day.
Even though some highly motivated individuals are able to control their food intake completely (like athletes and bodybuilders), this really isn’t representative of the general population.
This is very difficult for most people and especially for people who have a tendency to gain weight.
Let me use breathing as an example of how it is difficult to “control” a physiological function that is regulated by the brain.
Breathing is almost completely subconscious, although you can control your breathing for a short amount of time if you manage to focus on it.
If you made the decision to skip 1 in 10 breaths, then you could probably do it, but only for a few minutes. Then you’d get distracted and start doing something else.
This is only possible while you’re consciously focusing on it and even if you did, you might unwillingly compensate by breathing a little heavier in the other 9 breaths, or you’d start to feel uncomfortable and stop doing it altogether.
If you think this is a ridiculous example and not applicable to eating, then you’re wrong. Eating is controlled with the same types of homeostatic mechanisms.
Some people may be able to consciously eat less calories and manage it with portion control and / or calorie counting. But they have to stick with it for life.
Bottom Line: Eating behavior is largely subconscious, controlled by hormones and neural circuits. It can be downright impossible to control these sorts of behaviors in the long term.

What is the Definition of Organic Food?

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Definition of Organic Food?

Organic food is the product of a farming system which avoids the use of man-made fertilisers, pesticides; growth regulators and livestock feed additives. Irradiation and the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or productsproduced from or by GMOs are generally prohibited byorganic legislation.
So when you hear the term organic food, what does it really mean? Is there one simple definition of organic food?
“Organic foods are produced according to certain production standards. For crops, it means they were grown without the use of conventional pesticides, artificial fertilizers, human waste, or sewage sludge and that they were processed without ionizing radiation or food additives. For animals, it means they were reared without the routine use of antibiotics and without the use of growth hormones. In most countries, organic produce must not be genetically modified.”

Now that you have a simple definition of organic food why should you make organic foods apart of your diet?
Good Question, there are two clear reasons to go organic:
“Well first it just plain tastes better. Organically grown foods have basic standards some of which are is keeping soil healthy and fortifying it naturally, not with synthetic fertilizers. Healthy, fortified soil means healthy, strong plants, which translates to better-tasting food.
“Secondly, organically grown foods have more nutrients. Healthy soil of organic farmland also provides more nutrients for growing plants. Studies are showing they have more vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and iron.
One of the biggest studies into organic food has found that it is more nutritious than ordinary produce and may help to lengthen people’s lives.
“The study found that organic fruit and vegetables contained as much as 40% more antioxidants, which scientists believe can cut the risk of cancer and heart disease. They also had higher levels of beneficial minerals such as iron and zinc.
Professor Carlo Leifert, the co-ordinator of the European Union-funded project, said the differences were so marked that organic produce would help to increase the nutrient intake of people not eating the recommended five portions a day of fruit and vegetables. “If you have just 20% more antioxidants and you can’t get your kids to do five a day, then you might just be okay with four a day,” he said.”
Leifert said the government was wrong about there being no difference between organic and conventional produce. “There is enough evidence now that the level of good things is higher in organics,” he said.
Organic foods are essentially free of pesticides, while nearly every type of conventional fruit and vegetable has at least one type of pesticide applied to it sometime from when the seeds are put into the ground to when they are sold. Logically then, eating organic foods rather than conventional foods will reduce your family’s exposure to pesticides. And for me that is enough to make organic foods apart of my family’s diet.

7 Serious Diseases Caused by Stress

 7 Diseases Caused by Stress

1 Stress Related Disease Alzheimer’s

Recent studies carried out by researchers in Finland, has linked Alzheimer’s to being one of the diseases caused by stress. When under stress our blood pressure increases as our heart beats faster, and the amount of Cortisol that our bodies produce, dramatically increases. It’s part of the natural “fight or flight” syndrome. On a limited basis this causes no adverse side effects. However with persistent stress, the same flight or flight reflex is activated, meaning that the levels of Cortisol in the bloodstream are higher all the time that the stress is in evidence.
Recent Finnish research (reported in the British Daily Mail newspaper) found that subjects with elevated blood pressure and Cortisol levels were three times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s. In subjects who experienced either elevated blood pressure or higher Cortisol levels independently over long periods of time, they were found to be twice as likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s, than people with normal blood pressure or normal levels of Cortisol

2 Stress Related Disease Asthma

There are a number of studies that show that stress can actively worsen asthma. In fact, some studies have indicated that any chronic stress felt by the child’s parents, may increase the risk of that child actually developing asthma him/herself. Research carried out on children who were sensitive to air pollution, and who either had stressed out parents, or had mothers who smoked, were shown to have a markedly significantly higher chance of developing asthma.
With someone who has persistent asthma, (and especially in children), fear of the onset of another asthma attack often induces more stress. This in turn, causes an actual attack. It creates a vicious circle, and one that can only be addressed by the removal of the stress, which may require medical intervention.
3 Stress Related Disease Heart Disease
It has long been hypothesized that people exhibiting a Type “A” Behavioral Pattern (TABP) are more prone to develop high blood pressure and heart disease. It is already well recognized that stress brought about through strong emotional responses can trigger heart attacks. It is well documented, for example, that in case of natural disasters (such as the recent Typhoo in The Philippines) the incidence of death through heart attack climbs strongly after the event of the disaster itself.

4 Stress Related Disease Diabetes

Stress can adversely affect people suffering from diabetes in two distinct ways. The first way is indirect, as it can result in unhealthy eating and uncontrolled drinking, both of which pose threats to blood sugar levels.
In the second instance it appears that stress is also able to raise the levels of glucose in the bloodstream of people with Type 2 diabetes.

5 Stress Related Disease Depression and Anxiety

Depression anxiety is another of the diseases caused by stress. We’ve already discussed the fact that stress triggers the fight or flight syndrome. One of the effects of this syndrome is to close down the digestion system and divert the blood instead, to the brain and the muscles, in preparation for flight or fight. With prolonged stress this can, in time, cause inflammation in the gut, which in turn allows toxins to get into the bloodstream. This triggers an immune-inflammatory response, which then releases Cytokines. When these get to the brain, they trigger inflammation in the area that is responsible for mood. This creates depression and anxiety.

6 Stress Related Disease Obesity

When under stress, our bodies release of a molecule known as Neuropeptide Y – or NPY for short. This molecule is able to interfere with certain receptors in our fat cells, resulting in them increasing, both in size and in number. Dr Herbert Hertzog who works at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney (Australia), stated that their research has now established the precise way in which obesity has become one of the diseases caused by stress.

7 Stress Related Disease Headache

Tension headaches are also known as stress headaches. Over one third of the adult population here in the USA suffers regularly from them. They are usually characterized by pain on both sides of the head, which manifests itself in a feeling tightness in the forehead, and/or around the back of the neck. Most people, (including those in the medical profession), believe one of the causes of tension headache to be stress. Whilst being unpleasant they are not necessarily the debilitating.

Ten Commandments for a Stress Free Life :)

Ten Commandments for a Stress-Free Life

1. You shall not be perfect, or even try to be.
Think of how many things don’t get done because someone is waiting for the perfect time, place and circumstance. Working with perfection as your standard is both a mental and physical drain.
Lose the need to get everything done “perfect.” Know that it’s far better to accomplish a task at 85% perfection than to procrastinate and wait for 100% perfection.

2. You shall not try to be all things to all people.
Whether you like it or not, others will try to put who you are and what you do into a particular category in their head. They’ll label you with one or two words and resist – indeed be revolted – by anything that breaks that mold. That’s just the way the world is, and it’s better to work with it than to fight it.
Trying to be all things to all people may seem like a great way to cast a wide-net. But really, it’s a way to turn people off. Being everything is equivalent in most people’s minds as being nothing. What can’t be categorized is likely to be rejected and forgotten.
In business, career and relationships, decide who you are and what you stand for in a sharp fashion. Try to summarize it in only a word or two for the area you’re focused on. This is a much better strategy than trying to be all things to all people.

3. You shall sometimes leave things undone.
Charles Hummel, author of Tyranny of the Urgent, wrote: We live in constant tension between the urgent and the important. The problem is that many important tasks need not be done today, or even this week… The urgent task calls for instant action. The momentary appeal of these tasks seems irresistible, and they devour our energy. With a sense of loss we recall the vital tasks we pushed aside. We realize that we have become slaves to the tyranny of the urgent.

4. You shall not spread yourself too thin.
Don’t spread yourself too thin or lay it on too thick. You really cannot be the best at everything that you want. It is better to be known for a little of something than a lot of nothing.

5. You shall learn to say no.
Learning how to say no can be hard, but it’s something that I feel can really help you be more productive, reduce stress and do a better job with the things you do say “yes” to. Saying no to some things can actually help everyone involved.
The bottom line here is that there are times when you simply have too much going on to stay productive. In order to keep moving towards your goals you need to know when to say no and when to push things off your plate.
It can be hard, and you may feel badly about it, but in the end you’ll be happier, you’ll get more done and the people you live and work with will actually be better off for it as well.

6. You shall schedule time for yourself.
If you have trouble finding time to relax, put it in your schedule. Give yourself one hour on certain days to do an activity you truly enjoy. Work on a hobby, do some exercise, go for a walk, or read a book. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you enjoy it. These breaks will help you renew your energy and concentration.
Adding non-work activities to your schedule will give you extra motivation and focus for the times when you are working.

7. You shall switch yourself off, and do nothing regularly.
Feeling stressed and unfocused? Try doing nothing. Or rather, try sitting in a quiet room thinking about nothing for at least 20 minutes, twice a day.
It sounds simple, even boring, but transcendental meditation isn’t just for mantra-chanting yogis or herbal-tea-drinking hippies. Maxed-out professionals are turning to daily meditation to lower blood pressure, prolong concentration, and crank up creative juices.
It helps me slow down,says Erica Kalick, founder and president of Erica’s Rugelach Baking Co., a 10-employee gourmet pastry manufacturer in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kalick took up meditation to help her cope after a personal tragedy. We run around all day, usually thinking about ourselves, she says. But if, for example, I’m pissed off at an employee, I can slow down and think about it from the other person’s perspective.
When you meditate thus before you start working on a task, your stress levels decreases and a great deal of clarity arises.

8. You shall not even feel guilty for doing nothing, or saying no.
An all-or-nothing attitude is why so many people have so little success; we choose structured programs because they relieve us from making choices for ourselves.
And if you begin to make changes in your life with the assumption that any deviation from your plan will ruin it, you might as well not even begin.
Life is full of unplanned obstacles, distractions, and temptations. Your best approach is to prepare for them, keeping an open mind and maintaining a positive attitude.

9. You shall be boring, untidy, inelegant, and unattractive at times.
Actress Jamie Lee Curtis, known for her acting talents and physical beauty, recently took a bold step many of us would shutter at the thought of – she posed for a magazine minus make-up in a crop top and shorts. She posed for all the world to see the “real” beauty she is – a confident women who doesn’t definite herself by other people’s standards.
Chasing after beauty defined by others (media, family, friends, spouse, co-workers and others) is detrimental to your peace of mind.
You don’t have to look and feel your best every single day. Be bold and love the skin you’re in right now – crooked nose, warts, corns, receding hairline, wrinkles, sags, bulges and all. Appreciate your natural beauty and love yourself just the way you are.
10. You shall not be your own worst enemy. But, be your own best friend.
Far too often, we are quick as a whip to complain when we feel we did something wrong, yet we are not as quick to lavish praise.
Complaining about every little thing is very stressful and draining.
Starting today, make a point to praise yourself every time you have a positive impact on your life. Doing so will not only make you feel good, but will make a difference in a positive way and help you manage stress.